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# singular and plural nouns

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Intern
Joined: 17 Mar 2012
Posts: 1
GMAT 1: 670 Q48 V34
WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

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11 Aug 2013, 22:04
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Kindly clarify the following nouns are singular or plural (is or are)-

Alumni/Alumnus
Bacteria/Bacterium
Criteria/Criterion - What is the criteria?? What are the criteia??
Formulae/Formula
Media - Media is...?? Media are...??
Phenomenon/Phenomena
Glasses - The glasses you are wearing is dirty?? are dirty??
Means
Scissors
Statistics
If you have any questions
New!
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 800
Followers: 368

Kudos [?]: 745 [3] , given: 5

Re: singular and plural nouns [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2013, 06:04
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abhinavsrivastava wrote:
Kindly clarify the following nouns are singular or plural (is or are)-

Alumni (plural) /Alumnus (singular) - in spoken english we often incorrectly use alumni as singular
Bacteria (plural) /Bacterium (singular) - very common to see bacteria also used as singular
Criteria (plural) /Criterion (singular) - very common to see criteria also used as singular
Formulae (plural) /Formula (singular) - formulas is the more common plural form
Media (plural) / medium (singular) - Media has become a collective noun and therefore singular as well. The media has covered the trial since the start.
Phenomenon (plural) /Phenomena (singular) - spoken english often uses phenomenon as singular
Glasses (plural) /pair of glasses (singular) - My glasses are broken. My pair of glasses is missing.
Means (plural) - though you can make it singular. The best means of studying is to work a little each day.
Scissors (plural) / pair of scissors (singular) - like glasses
Statistics (plural) - though you can talk about the subject as singular. Statistics is really a boring subject in school.

KW
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Kyle Widdison | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Utah

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Manhattan GMAT Instructor
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 800
Followers: 368

Kudos [?]: 745 [0], given: 5

Re: singular and plural nouns [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2013, 11:37
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Since we are on the subject of singular vs plural, I will say that when you are in doubt, opt for singular.

Here are some examples of nouns that are singular:
--Collective Nouns: army, class, crowd, team
--Most Indefinite Pronouns: everybody, everything, anyone, either
--Subjects preceded by each or every
--Subject Phrases: “Having good friends IS a wonderful thing.

[Speakers of Commonwealth/British English may struggle here because in British usage, some collective nouns are plural.]

KW
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Kyle Widdison | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Utah

Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Course Reviews | View Instructor Profile

Re: singular and plural nouns   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2013, 11:37
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